It's been a while since my trip to Iceland and I did want to tell you a little story about elves and trolls and that great island's culinary highlights - with the most breathtaking backdrop I've ever seen (New Zealand coming in at a close second). But that will have to wait. In the meantime, here are a few impressions...
Reykjavik, the volcanic island's capital, is bursting with little adorable cafes, bars and organic food stores, at one of which I pre-ordered and then ate some extremely luscious gluten-free carrot-millet bread. It was so good, I kept thinking about it even after I got home, so I decided to try and replicate it. The accessories in the pictures are all from Reykjavik, by the way.
I have mentioned before how healthy millet is. Millet contains the most minerals out of all the grains - probably a reason why it is a veritable beauty elixir. It's rich in phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and particularly silicon or silicic acid. This all strengthens our nails and hair and makes our skin glow.
In addition, millet contains vitamin E, vitamin A and various B-vitamins.
In order to get a fluffy, moist consistency, I put carrots into the bread. Unfortunately it ended up not quite as juicy as the Iceland version, so the next time I will try to add some buttermilk, psyllium seed husks or even curd.
Carrots of course are another ingredient from the "healthy and beautifying" list. They are one of the most established and popular root vegetables today: raw or as a juice, steamed or fried, in soups and sauces, in cakes and bread. Carrots have an extremely high beta-carotene or provitamin A content, which is the reason for their intense orange colour as well as being very beneficial for your skin and your eyesight. Beta-carotene is fat-soluble however, so carrots should always be eaten with a little oil or butter.
Carrots come in a variety of flavours and colours - yellow or purple, for example - but all of them are aromatic and a little sweet tasting, which makes them an ideal ingredient for all manner of dishes.
- 400g flour: 200g buckwheat and 200g fine cornmeal or 400g whole wheat flour
- 100g millet
- 400ml water
- 10g yeast
- 1 tsp raw cane sugar
- 250ml milk or milk substitute like almond milk (buttermilk, curd or additional plant-based milk are optional to make the dough more tender)
- 80g millet flakes
- 3-4 tsp sea salt
- 150g grated carrots
- 1 pinch of nutmeg
- ½ tsp cumin to taste
- a little olive oil and millet flakes for the baking tin
- milk for the coat
- Boil lightly salted water in a pan for the millet. Pour the millet into a fine sieve and rinse with water until it runs clear. Set aside to drain.
- Put the millet in the pan with the boiling water and let it cook for 5 minutes over medium to high heat (this might take longer depending on the type of millet you're using, please check the instructions on the packaging), then set aside to allow it swell for around 10 minutes.
- Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the lukewarm milk and let sit for 10 minutes. In the meantime, peel, rinse and finely grate the carrots.
- Mix the flour, the millet flakes and the grated carrots with some salt and a little freshly grated nutmeg (and the cumin, if using) and knead together with the yeast mixture for 8-10 minutes until you have a springy dough.
- Grease an ovenproof baking tin with olive oil or coconut oil, sprinkle some millet flakes into it, fill with the dough and allow it to rise for around 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven at 200°C (upper/lower heat) or 180°C (fan oven). Cover the dough with some milk and bake on the middle shelf for about an hour.